The REI promotion asked “What’s your but?” Our excuses for not being active might sound like this: “but it’s too early, too late, too hot, too cold…” and I get it. My perception of getting out for a hike is often that it’s going to be any one of these things – too early, late, hot or cold – but that changes once I start down the trail and see that it’s fine, in fact, it’s enjoyable! Perceptions can hold us back.

That’s the case for 75% of Americans according to Charles Schwab’s 2018 Modern Wealth Index based on a study of 1000 participants.

75% Americans don’t have a written financial plan because, for the most part, their perception is they don’t have enough money to need a plan.  Before I tell you the rest of their reasons, take a look at the benefits of having a plan – apparently just having a plan is a powerful wealth tool!

So, why is it that people don’t have a plan?

  • 45%        I don’t have enough money to need a plan
  • 20%        It never occurred to me to have a plan
  • 20%        I wouldn’t know how to make a plan
  • 16%        I don’t think I would be able to stick to a plan

Good news – millennials are bucking the trend. 31% have a financial plan and 36% have specific savings goals – higher percentages than any of the other age categories.

We create financial plans for clients day in and day out. Typically they are straightforward “to-do” lists designed to achieve their long-term financial goals. We check back with the client in six months – how are you doing? any questions? – and meet annually to review and revise their plan. I would argue that you don’t need to have money to have a plan but that you need to have a plan if you want to build wealth.

Schwab’s head of Investor Services said “Planning is critical to achieving any goal. It’s like establishing an exercise regimen to get in shape − we need to take the same approach to keep our finances in good health and on track.”

So, what’s your but?

Note: Click here to take the Modern Wealth Index survey and receive your own personal score.